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Healthier pets, happier vets: VetSuccess analysis shows more frequent visits and more care for Nationwide-insured pets

When it comes to getting the prompt, high-quality veterinary care pet owners want, worrying about the cost can be a barrier to bringing their pet in. But a data study of almost 10 million pets and nearly 2,000 veterinary practices shows that owners can hurdle that barrier more easily when pets are insured with Nationwide®.That’s good news for pets, pet owners, and veterinarians alike.For uninsured pets and the veterinarians who care for them, the situation is often not ideal. Veterinarians have stories about late Friday afternoon ear infections or other painful pet problems owners probably noticed earlier in the week, but were hoping would resolve without a visit to the vet. (And Friday afternoon is often the next best option to a weekend emergency room visit.)

“The reason for the delay is typically financial, as juggling household expenses often means waiting to see if a pet’s illness will get better on its own,” said Dr. Jules Benson, Nationwide’s Chief Veterinary Officer.

When pet health insurance enters the picture, though, pet owners are both more likely to bring their pets in at the first sign of trouble and to follow their veterinarian’s treatment advice.That’s one of many findings in a study sponsored by Nationwide, the first and largest provider of pet health insurance in the United States, in collaboration with VetSuccess, the veterinary industry’s definitive analytics experts. The analysis looked at almost ten million pets served by close to 2,000 veterinary practices, comparing those with Nationwide pet health insurance to pet owners whose pets weren’t covered by Nationwide.“We’ve long known from our internal research that pets insured by Nationwide see their veterinarians more often, with the predictable results of catching disease early and getting consistent follow-up care for conditions that need it,” said Benson.

I know from my own experience as a practitioner that removing financial barriers to care makes an enormous difference in pet health outcomes and to a veterinarian’s professional and personal satisfaction. It can be tangible when you avoid those Friday afternoon emergency ear infections, or when you see a pet go into remission after a long battle with lymphoma.

“Partnering with VetSuccess on this research has reinforced our earlier findings, bringing rigorous third-party analysis to show that pet health insurance from Nationwide isn’t just about covering the cost of veterinary care. Pet parents who insure their pets with us consistently access veterinary care more often with less concern about cost."

Among the findings, those with Nationwide pet health insurance on their animal companions vs. no pet health insurance:

  • Spend more on veterinary care. Annual revenue per patient increases 92% for insured dogs vs. uninsured dogs. For cats, annual revenue increases 76% vs. those with no pet health insurance.
  • Visit their veterinarians more often. For dogs, that’s 73% more often, resulting in 4.17 annual visits per insured patients vs. 2.41 visits per patient for uninsured pets. For cats, yearly veterinary visits are up 43%, with 2.54 visits for insured pets vs. 1.77 for cats with no insurance.
  • Approve surgical procedures more often. Insured dogs are 51% more likely to receive surgical treatment, with a 17% increased spend. Insured cats are 20% more likely to receive surgical treatment, and 38% more is spent on those procedures.
  • Stick with their veterinary practice. After three years, 81% of insured dog owners are at the same clinic vs. 46% of uninsured dog owners. That loyalty equates to a lifetime value for insured dogs that is 238% higher than uninsured dogs -- a difference of more than $4,000 in revenue over eight years. For cats, 69% of insured cats are at the same clinic in three years vs. 33% of uninsured cats. This differential represents a lifetime value for insured cats that is 218% higher than uninsured cats, a difference of more than $1,800 in revenue over eight years.

“At VetSuccess, we’re excited to empower the veterinary industry with information that improves the health of their businesses and their patients,” said Martin Traub-Werner, Founder VetSuccess, VP & GM, Data and Platform Technologies, Vetsource. “In working on this analysis with Nationwide, we were interested to see not just the significance of the findings, but also that the results were remarkably consistent across practices.”

Nationwide offers a variety of pet health insurance plans that range from injury/illness to a complete package that includes injury/illness and wellness with coverage of up to 90% of eligible veterinary expenses. For information about Nationwide’s full range of plans and benefits, visit petinsurance.com.